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Huawei Mate S launches in Malaysia: the brand’s most premium smartphone

When a company strikes the right rhythm, it takes a while before it goes off beat; making its name in the Chinese market and even overtaking Xiaomi in market share, the Huawei name has recently started its global expansion. Among their successful launches, the latest would be the honor 7, in London and the Nexus 6P in a partnership with Google. Can they break the stigma associated with Chinese manufacturers? Backed by the Huawei Mate S, they just might.

Targeting a new market, as compared to its predecessor, it was launched at IFA 2015 with “Force Touch”, we won’t be getting that 128GB model but nonetheless, the Mate S is no one trick pony. It boasts a 5.5-inch FHD (1920 x 1080) AMOLED display and a familiar combination makes its way underneath the metal-only outer layer of the device; a Kirin 935 Octa-core processor, mated to 3GB of RAM. There will also be 64GB of internal memory, while its expandable through the hybrid dual-SIM 4G LTE slots (up-to 128GB).

Its photographs are taken by a 13-megapixel RGBW rear camera equip with OIS and dual-LED flash; the front however gets an 8-megapixel shutter with an f/2.4 aperture and a single LED flash. Huawei’s signature rear fingerprint scanner is included here too for an alternative option for biometric security.

In terms of software, Knuckle Sense gets an update, now version 2.0 and as per usual, allows you to interact differently through your knuckles in the form of double-tapping or drawing symbols. You’ll also notice EMUI 3.1 skinned over Android 5.1 Lollipop on the device.

A 2,700 mAh battery fits inside the 156gram smartphone and will be available in two colour options, Prestige Gold and Coral Pink. The Mate S makes a big price jump as the newest edition to the Mate lineup; retracing back to the launch price of the Ascend Mate 7, it went for RM 1,999 during its launch. But, for the price you pay, Huawei wants to make it worth your money by adding these perks:

2 year warranty
One-to-one exchange within the 1st year of purchase
Free cracked screen (one-time only) replacement within the 1st year of purchase

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And depending how early you decide to buy the device, the more you’ll get in return.

Below the 1,000 unit mark:
Bespoke Pewter membership card from Royal Selangor – entitling you to VIP service from Exclusive Huawei Service Centres and delivery/pick-up options for servicing
Huawei Active Noise Cancelling (ANC) earphones

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Lest we forget, you’ll have to fork out RM 2,698 (w/ GST) for the Mate S, so be warned and make sure you have enough money in the bank. Having felt the device in our first impressions, we can say that the chamfered edges with 2.5D glass and metal build might be just enough make you favour the Mate S.

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Utilising the classic, oh “by the way” we have another (two) product(s) to show you technique, Huawei also launched the G8 today, a good-looking mid-ranger that just supplements the theory of the manufacturer playing the premium game; along with their new flagship tablet, the MediaPad M2 8.0.

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The former is a also a 5.5-incher with a FHD display (1920 x 1080) and has the same 2.5D glass edged glass but has a slightly less metal make at 90% composition. Fittingly as a mid-ranger, it has a 1.5GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 615 processor, coupled with 3GB of RAM and 32GB of internal storage (expandable).

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For imaging, the G8 gets a 28mm wide-angle 13-megapixel sensor on the rear and a 5-megapixel lens on the front. Akin to the Mate S, the more affordable G8 also has a hybrid dual-SIM 4G LTE slot but has a larger 3,000 mAh battery. Mirroring its big brother, it also has EMUI 3.1 on top of Android 5.1 Lollipop for its operating system.

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Onto the largest of the trio, the Huawei MediaPad M2 8.0, that as the name suggests, has an 8-inch screen with the same FHD resolution (1920 x 1080). Under the hood, it houses a 64-bit Octa-core 2GHz Kirin 930 chipset and for multitasking and app switching, there’s 2GB of RAM.

As a tablet, the readily available 32GB might be a stretch but at least there’s a microSD slot for expandability.  An 8-inch device being used to take photos might be a sight for sore eyes but if you really need to, there’s an 8-megapixel rear camera; used more practically for video calling a 2-megapixel sensor will be on the front.

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Touted to “amplify your excitement” the tablet will offer a seamless audio experience, thanks to its side-facing dual speaker set-up. Utilising Clari-Fi technology and Super Wide Sound 2.0 by Harman Kardon, the brand promises to immerse you with 180-degree surround sound.

Wrapping up, the tablet will have 4,800 mAh of battery to keep the 310gram device running and it’ll also have a single 4G LTE slot for cellular connectivity.

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The G8 and MediaPad M2 8.0 both retail for RM 1,499 (w/ GST) and are available in these colour options: Grey or Silver – G8 and Gold – MediaPad M2 8.0.

The two smartphones will be available from today onwards, and be sold across all Huawei stores nationwide but you’ll have to wait till late November to get your hands on the tablet. For a closer look at the Huawei Mate S, do check out our first impressions here.

Do let us know your thoughts about Huawei’s steady growth in the premium market, do they stand a chance? Are consumers still looking for a particular brand to better the status quo? Tell us in the comments below.